According to USA Today Black Coffee & Waffle Bar was Minnesota’s “Most Instagrammed Restaurant” in 2016.
JANUARY 26, 2016 | CAMILLE LEFEVRE | THE LINE MEDIA
Black Coffee & Waffle Bar, which opened in 2014 on Como Avenue in Minneapolis, is expanding. In March, Black will open its second coffee and waffle shop on Marshall Avenue in St. Paul next to Heirloom, chef Wyatt Evans’ new “hipster farmhouse” restaurant in Merriam Park. Shelter Architecture in Minneapolis is helping Black with its build out.
“Black Coffee & Waffle Bar’s first location [on Como] is a huge success,” says Kurt Gough, founding partner, Shelter Architecture. Black’s partners Andrew Ply and Brad Cimaglio “have developed a brand identity that is hip, simple and minimalist. Their second location plans to expand upon that identity.”
While the partners took a DIY approach to the Como location, “in this second iteration they asked Shelter to embrace the current brand aesthetic and create a space with more finish and refinement,” Gough says.
Black serves waffles with fresh ingredients and in-house-made toppings. Local roaster Dogwood Coffee provides the coffee beans. “When we started out, we were a coffee shop that server waffles,” says Heather Feider, general manager, “but we’ve turned into a waffle shop that serves specialty coffee!”
The clientele is mostly students from the University of Minnesota, she adds. “In the evenings, students hang out and study with a coffee. They’re also our brunch crowd for waffles. But even people from Stillwater come to Black’s. So want to have a place in another part of town.”
The new location in St. Paul will appeal to commuters from Wisconsin and the eastern parts of the metro area, as well as the University of St. Thomas crowd, Feider continues. “We were looking for a place with a similar feel to Como. Merriam Park is close to St. Thomas, a nice family neighborhood and a vibrant community.”
The new Black will have a similar aesthetic and utilize the same branding. “The building itself has some challenges as far as meeting ADA compliance and parking requirements, but we have creatively and effectively resolved them,” Gough says. According to Feider, the Shelter design team will be adding “cool new features.”
Together, Black and Heirloom are turning the corner at Marshall and Cretin into a destination for local cuisine. “Together we’ll be able to offer the Merriam Park community a couple of great choices for dining and gathering,” Feider says. “While two small places may not change the community, we will create a nice little corner there.”